December 17, 2003—Leiden—The Leiden University Library and Ex Libris have signed a contract for the licensing, implementation and ongoing support of the ALEPH 500 library management system. This will replace the library's current OCLC/PICA local system and incorporate a link (Online Update Fetch mechanism) for the import/export of title and authority records between ALEPH 500 and the OCLC/PICA national central catalogue. Having licensed and implemented Ex Libris' MetaLib, SFX and DigiTool products over the past eighteen months, the acquisition of ALEPH 500 will make the Leiden University Library one of the most modern research-oriented libraries of higher learning in Europe.
Commenting on the choice of ALEPH 500 as a milestone in the library's history, Dr. Janus Linmans, Deputy Librarian, said, “We are fully confident that with ALEPH 500 we will continue to benefit from Ex Libris' professionalism and dedication in managing and improving access to our rich collections. Leiden University Library has a great deal to offer to the world of higher learning. We expect our new library system to offer flexibility, strong international orientation, incentives for innovation, and challenges for our staff to further increase its competence and provide the best service to our patrons.”
Matti Shem-Tov, President and CEO of Ex Libris, expressed the company's pride at seeing its complete suite of library software systems installed at the prestigious Leiden University. “We value the excellent cooperation with the highly professional Leiden University Library and IT staff and will do our utmost to merit the trust that this customer has placed in us. The ALEPH user community can look forward to fruitful exchanges of information and experiences with Leiden.”
About the Leiden University Library
Together with the creation of the University in 1575, a library was founded, making it one of the oldest academic libraries in the world. The very rich collection, which today numbers some three million titles, started with a single book, the Polyglot Bible donated by the Prince of Orange. The first volumes were kept in the registrar's house. As the collection grew through donations and auctions, it was transferred to Leiden's White Nuns' chapel. The first catalog of the library, the Nomenclator, was printed in 625 copies as early as 1595, becoming the first such institutional library catalogue in Europe.
The Leiden University Library has served a long line of prestigious scholars and researchers who studied or taught at the University. These include the illustrious Italian philologist and physician Julius Cesar Scaliger (1484-1558) and in more recent times, Albert Einstein.
In 1983, the library moved to an ultra-modern, light-flooded building by the Witte Singel Canal, designed by architect Bart van Kasteel. The priceless collections of ancient monographs and maps are stored in both underground and aboveground vaults and can be viewed by special appointment. For more information about Leiden University, see www.leidenuniv.nl.
About Ex Libris
Ex Libris is a leading worldwide developer and provider of high-performance applications for libraries, information centers and researchers. Ex Libris' ALEPH integrated library solution has been installed at over 800 sites and consortia in 50 countries. MetaLib, the information portal for library collections, and SFX, the context-sensitive link server for heterogeneous electronic resources in the scholarly information environment, have been adopted by more than 450 institutions in 30 countries. The DigiTool product, for the construction of digital collections as a component of an overall digital strategy, rounds out the Ex Libris product suite.